About 21st Century Ford
Back in 2000 I persuaded the Editor of Modern Railways that we should celebrate the millennium with a series of interviews with key players in the privatised railway, running through the year. As you can see from the list below, I lined up interviewees covering all sectors of the railway, starting with Gerald Corbett of Railtrack and concluding in December with a joint interview featuring the Chairman and Chief Executive of the shadow Strategic Rail Authority.
At the time I was disappointed with the lack of impact that the series made. Perhaps it was my interviewing technique, or the choice of subjects, or perhaps we were too laid back for our own good and should have had one of those screaming ‘Exclusive Interview' cover lines that other magazines favour on every issue.
Whatever, I thought it worth adding the series to the Alycidon archive because, with the passage of time, it provides a unique snapshot of the privatised railway before the Hatfield derailment started the dramatic collapse of the system.
Indeed, as I remarked in the Morton/Grant article, the pages in the notebook I was using for the interview were water stained and wrinkled where rain had dripped onto them from the peak of my hard hat on a visit to the Hatfield site.
So, while they may not have had the impact I had hoped for at the time, if you want a view of the pre-Hatfield railway devoid of hindsight, 21 st Century Ford is a reminder of the way we were.